CHAPTER 101: MOCK BATTLE AND CONCLUSION
To be honest, I don’t expect Blanse Fergelium1 to be enough to end this.
Blanse Fergelium2, like with Glacio Lentso3, is originally for use against A-rank monsters.
It isn’t normally used against people.
However, Ice should know that much.
Because of that, if this spell would result in death or otherwise injury of rule-breaking severity, she should have stopped me.
And as she didn’t, it means that Ice is confident that this attack will not incapacitate Cielmer.
Rather, since she gloated that much before the battle, she must have thought that Cielmer could win against me even with my use of Blanse Fergelium4.
For this exact reason, I put all of my strength in it to win this battle.
To end this with one attack if ever possible, and to cause enough damage to keep the battle advantage in my favor in case it continues.
The spell was a success.
The hot blue flames enveloped Cielmer and its aftershock drowned the surroundings in a sea of flame.
There were no signs of evasion, so it’s a direct hit.
With that, even if my opponent is of A-rank, this should cause some major damage…… it should have.
But no matter how I look at it, right before my eyes, Cielmer is in perfectly good condition.
To begin with, her layers of barriers haven’t been completely destroyed.
On closer inspection, her barrier is by no means unscathed, so I might be able to destroy it with another cast of Blanse Fergelium5, but a second time would be too much.
I don’t want to admit it, but even Ice isn’t capable of using sorcery that can freeze the entire surrounding area.
In other words, it’s Cielmer who has the capacity to do so.
One of my choices right now is to slow down and properly assess her strength.
However, with that said, I’d be a fool to wait for her to make a move.
From the moment I cast Blanse Fergelium6, my remaining magic power is not enough to fight a war of attrition.
In any case, I press the offensive at once.
Using a barrage of weak sorcery as a cover, I’ll then hit her with a powerful spell.
I can’t afford to give her any opportunity to attack me.
With the battle plan decided, I put it into action.
「It would be great if the barrage breaks the remaining barrier, but…… there.」
Innumerable small clusters of fire are released and headed to Cielmer.
It has enough force to defeat weak monsters with ease but it’s undeniably insufficient against that barrier.
Still, I should be able to fire a continuous barrage for a while.
As I was thinking this, Cielmer began to move.
Her movement was graceful, as if an air of magnificence can be felt.
Her dance was so enchanting, I forget that we’re battling this very moment.
With soft movements, and with the minimum necessary motion, she shook off my spells.
As if to play with the fire, she twirled around and around.
The humiliation of seeing her using my sorcery as if it were stage props and the sheer beauty of the dance unveiling before me is sending my mind into disarray.
Cielmer’s dance attracts the eye not by the use of showy bombastic motions, but by the refinement of her every move.
The simple extension of an arm, the simple act of walking, the simple twirling motion.
It’s precisely because these movements are simple that the difference can be seen.
No, this isn’t the time to think about this.
We’re in the middle of a mock battle.
I have to make my next move, the spell to destroy that barrier.
From the magic bag I carry hidden by my waist, I took out a throwing spear nearly two thirds of my size.
The weakness of fire sorcery is that it doesn’t have physical mass.
Although it can burn objects, it isn’t suited for destroying things.
With wind, one can cut right through.
With earth, it goes without saying.
And with water, one simply has to use the advanced ice spells.
In contrast, fire sorcery by itself is mainly only specialized in burning no matter how advanced it gets.
There is the method of triggering explosions, but it’s considerably complicated to use mid-battle.
Unlike fire produced by one’s own spells, explosions can inflict damage on yourself if the distance is misjudged, and while it’s easy to use for demolishing walls, it isn’t suited for destroying small but tough objects.
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Cielmer’s barrier is clearly the small but tough type.
Blanse Fergelium7 burns everything down, regardless of toughness and size.
If hit, whether it be steel or walls of stone, it can melt it down.
Despite that, Cielmer’s barrier defended against it.
That’s why, I’ll focus the impact onto a single point and break it from there.
The throwing spear I took out was crafted with the use of wyvern materials, it can maintain its form without burning or melting under extremely high heat.
I’ll heat this up, heat it even more, and using this as the core of my flame sorcery, I hurl it to my target.
By doing this, I can compensate for the weakness of the fire sorcery I specialize in.
Due to that, I’ve also trained in the use of spears.
With my spearmanship, I could probably win against Ice in 10 battles out of 10.
Though, a win like that doesn’t make me happy at all.
Anyhow, using flame sorcery and a spear that can take its heat, I can produce an attack with great penetration power.
However, it’s so overspecialized in penetration that it can’t actually defeat monsters with just a single hit.
For this single hit to be lethal, I would need to pierce through my enemy’s heart or head.
With me not being a professional spearman, I cannot hit a moving target with that much accuracy.
The most I can do is target the body, arms, or the legs.
Even so, just that makes it more than useful.
Incidentally, in the case where I were to have someone else throw it for me, it would be too hot now that only I can hold it.
Still, this time is different.
I only need to destroy this barrier.
Rather, I actually have to avoid landing a clean hit on Cielmer.
My opponent is skilled.
She is likely capable of dodging a spear of my caliber and even if it only hits the near end of her barrier, it should crumble from there.
For that reason, I also make use of physical reinforcement to hurl it with my all.
Naturally, the barrage of fireballs continued on.
I aim at the opening made as she deals with the barrage.
Or so I thought.
The moment the spear left my hand, Cielmer’s eyes met mine.
As though ignoring the fire bullets completely, she stares straight at me.
Her sharp gaze seems to see right through my plan as it’s directed to me.
However, the throwing spear has already left my grasp.
Flying straight and true, the spear closes in at Cielmer at a speed she can’t dodge with her gentle movements.
Cielmer however, who is undeniably looking at me, shows no signs of wanting to dodge.
In the end, my spear connected with her barrier.
It slightly lost momentum, but the spear pierced through the barrier and is heading directly towards her.
There, Cielmer finally moved.
With the same elegant and refined movements as before, she moves to the side as though pulled by the spear and with her hand, she catches the spear that would have flown past her small body.
That spear should have enough heat to surely scald anyone who touches it.
However, that thought of mine was instantly overturned.
Using the momentum of the spear, Cielmer twirls the spear around.
As though to shake off all of the approaching fire bullets.
Looking like that of a fluttering butterfly.
She utilizes it like a familiar old tool, but she’s not manipulating it as a weapon.
It’s like a prop spear for the purpose of dancing.
Those are not forms for killing an enemy, and while it seems as though she’s being overwhelmed by the excessively long spear, she has firm control over it.
Her movements are like that of flowing water.
After shaking away all of the fire bullets, she twirls the spear as she thrust it into the ground.
All of her movements were so organic that I couldn’t help but watch.
The short time that transpired felt shorter than it was, yet felt so long at the same time.
It almost felt like a dream to me.
That was until I saw the planted spear freeze.
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And just when I felt a sudden chill, sharp pain ran through the base of my neck.
Moving only my eyes down, I saw a thorn of ice extending from the ground to my throat.
If this wasn’t a mock battle, this thorn of ice would have absolutely pierced my neck.
I let my guard down
That may be partly true.
However, above all else, I was made to realize the overwhelming gap between us.
The mock battle with Friere-san.
Showing composure, Ciel gave her the first attack –– Ciel is higher up rank wise, so it’s only natural –– but I was surprised when she cast sorcery rivaling Glacio Lentso8 from the very first move.
Unlike Glacio Lentso9, which can be managed as long as it’s deflected, this one had a long effective duration which was extremely troublesome.
Though, on the other hand, Glacio Lentso10.
was usable in rapid succession.
Due to that sorcery, with the exception of the usual barrier enveloping Ciel like a membrane, all but the innermost layer of the barriers were burned away.
Even the innermost barrier that I made thinking it could probably endure an attack from an A-rank monster got pretty damaged.
Honestly speaking, she really showed no mercy.
And since she’s attacking us with all she has, we decided to show some of our real strength as well.
Specifically, Song Princess and Dance Princess were unbanned.
As the surrounding area was burning from the first sorcery’s aftermath, we purposefully covered it with Ciora Elicinary11..
Ciel was the one who chose it though.
I was singing, so I couldn’t speak.
Intentionally leaving the damaged barrier as it is, I decided to use this dance to test its durability.
As long as she doesn’t cast the first sorcery again, it probably won’t break.
As I thought that, it then got pierced by a spear that was thrown under the cover of fire bullets.
I don’t know what came to Ciel’s mind when she caught that spear and started dancing with it, but the mock battle ended safely.
Ciel flourishing a spear was a great sight to see.
Today in particular, she could use the power of Dance Princess as much as she wanted, so Ciel seems really happy about that.
Come to think of it, I think this is the first time Ciel ever fought using Dance Princess with other people looking.
Ciel’s opponents getting fascinated by her dance mid-battle is a surprisingly interesting discovery.
I don’t know if it really does fascinate, but Friere-san clearly stopped attacking, so this might actually be the case.
In a sense, this might be the proper form of Dance Princess.
『It ended without any problems.
Good work, Ciel.』
『Good work too, Ain.
I was surprised when she broke Ain’s barrier, but it was a lot of fun doing so much!』
『Then I’m glad that you enjoyed it.』
『That aside, it isn’t it curious that Carol wasn’t surprised seeing how I fought』
『True, she didn’t look shocked at all.
On the other hand, she did seem to be in deep thought though.』
After Friere-san’s loss was declared, I talked with Ciel while we headed to Carol-san.
From what happened, Carol-san should have noticed that we have multiple Jobs, and she might have even noticed more than that.
I already plan to talk about it later, so it’s like we’re just showing her in advance.
It‘d also be easier to explain if she took the hint, so it’ll help.
「That was a brilliant defeat.」
As we reached Carol-san, she gleefully taunts Friere-san.
Friere-san grimaced in displeasure, before then letting out a huff.
This time I’ll frankly accept my loss.
It was a complete defeat.」
「I was a bit surprised too.」
「I broke through your barrier, didn’t I Yet even that is just slightly surprising……」
Friere-san seemed pretty prideful to me, but I guess she’s the type that honestly accepts these sorts of results.
Still, it’s true that being prideful doesn’t necessarily equate to being incapable of accepting losses, maybe it’s even because she’s prideful that she accepts that she lost to someone clearly younger than her.
As I was there all convinced by myself, Carol-san joined Ciel and Friere-san’s conversation.
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「So talking’s done now, right」
「Don’t right me.
What’s with you, Ice」
「What I mean is that we don’t have the time to play around with you.
To begin with, she didn’t come to the guild to have a mock battle with you, right Ciemer」
Ciel immediately answered Carol-san’s question.
Probably because of this, Friere-san can’t respond strongly and she’s not saying anything even though she looks like she has something to say.
Carol-san ignored this and began walking away.
Ciel followed suit and left.
「I get it already! I’ll definitely make you cry someday!」
And though she says that, Friere-san also follows behind Carol-san, and I can’t help but think that they might actually get along well.
And that ends Friere POV~! Hiya~! Continuing from the last chapter, we get our first mid-combat dance in a long while.
And, for the first time ever, it’s even from another character’s POV!
First of all, dance chapters are one of my favorites not only to read but also to translate, as it should be.
Lore wise, from what was confirmed in this chapter, Ciel’s dancing has the ability to *really* take a target/enemy’s attention.
Well, by nature, excellent dancing is enchanting and fascinating to see, but the implications this has for combat purposes is just… yeah.
And as Ain says, this is probably the true form of the Dance Princess, or any offence type Dancer Job in that regard, to enchant the opponent with refined movements, while increasing or reinforcing the combat ability of the dancer either from following a song or from performing a form perfect “dance”.
They’d be highly athletic or acrobatic too, and have good conditioning, so while they might not have explosive power against monsters by themselves, with a team or even against (single) human enemies, they probably excel just from the feint potential.
But yeah, this is all just speculation at this point and not really on topic…
Back to topic.
I love how it’s from Friere’s POV and another of my favourite parts of the chapter is actually Friere’s throwing spear.
The show of her creativity on how to overcome her weaknesses her own way.
As she admitted in the previous chapter, she’s kind of a muscle head compared to the pure sorcerers Carol and Viviana.
With Carol, she’s just plainly a genius in sorcery and loves the studying part.
With Viviana, she’s pragmatic and practical with her spells because of her magic power issues, which forced her to learn to make the best of what she has (but she overcomes it by being cured, so yeah).
With Friere, she was hit with a roadblock that’s in the very nature of her magic, the lack of literal destructive weight.
And she solved it in a way that’s telling of her personality.
Not by making a new spell through research (something that Carol would probably do), but by using a brute force method with an actual physical spear.
What I like most is how this shows a reoccurring theme that I’ve found in many Game-like Job/Skill system novels: Using unconventional methods and thinking that’s beyond the skill system to overcome the inherent “box ” you were born in to make the best out of it.
It’s mostly in the case of protagonists of those series or the supporting characters/harem members, like how the mc’s “weak” class or skill is actually OP when abused correctly, but many of these stories are also plagued by cliched writing, so yeah… Anyhow, just as with Ain and Ciel, their Jobs aren’t inherently “Magic-based”, except for Ciel’s, maybe, but they still learned magic even though they don’t have the “additional buffs” the magic Jobs provide.
Heck, Ain can’t even integrate her Job with her Magic.
Still, their Jobs are inherently unconventional, unlike in other stories where the “non-special Job” needed an mc with unconventional thinking.
This reflects again with Friere’s brute force method.
And, I think, the main reason I like this theme is what the best telling of this theme stands for.
Common Normal Mediocre Or maybe even Weird Whatever “Job”, “Skill”, or “Talent” you were born with doesn’t matter, what matters is your personal efforts and how you apply your toolset in the journey through life.
I’m being cheesy, aren’t I
Also, Friere being a non-toxic version of a standard prideful noble lady while being also a muscle-head and somewhat tsundere is funny.
Yes, I like her as a character.
And I’ve strayed too far off topic from just an offhand scene, yes.